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October 9, 2015


aTV Flash makes Apple TV hacking easy, for a fee

by Brad Linder, posted May 23rd 2008 1:08PM

aTV Flash

Wish you could use that Apple TV box next to your TV for web browsing, reading RSS feeds, or even just playing DivX video? You could do a little software hacking yourself, or if you're worried about mucking things up, you could pay $60 for a USB stick from aTV Flash loaded with software that will do all the dirty work for you.

Here are just a few of the things you'll be able to do with your newly hacked Apple TV:

  • Play DivX, XviD, AVi, and WMV files
  • Play uncoverted DVD files
  • Sync and play videos without iTunes
  • Surf the web with a WebKit/Safari-based browser
  • Rent HD movies from Jaman
  • View weather forecasts
  • Read RSS feeds

And best of all, the developers claim the software does not void your Apple TV warranty.

[via TUAW]

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AppleTV updates: Linux bootloader released, internet radio improved

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 30th 2008 2:33PM
atv-bootloaderThe Unofficial Apple Weblog picked up on two interesting tidbits related to the Apple TV today. First up, the latest software update from Apple includes the ability to listen to internet radio streams. You'll need to connect your Apple TV to a computer with iTunes, and that computer will need to have some streams saved in a playlist.

But the much more exciting news (if you happen to be a big nerd) is that hackers have figured out how to load Linux on an Apple TV. That means if you're a fan of the Apple hardware, but not so much the Apple TV interface, you might be able to turn your box into a MythTV FrontEnd, or even load a port of XBMC, the media center suite originally developed to run on converted Xbox video game systems.

You can find out more about the Linux bootloader at the atv-bootloader page.

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Blockbuster to launch a set top box for streaming video

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 10th 2008 5:38PM
BlockbusterTired of looking at that empty spot next to your TiVo, Windows Media Extender, Apple TV, and Xbox 360? Blockbuster's got just the thing -- another set top box capable of streaming internet and downloaded video.

There aren't many details about the box yet, but Blockbuster is reportedly set to announce it later this month. The box will offer hardware to compliment software the company already owns. Blockbuster acquired Movielink last year. The service provides users with the ability to rent or purchase digital movies which can be downloaded to a computer.

But PVR Wire readers aside, most people don't have their televisions connected to their computers, so a set top box seems like a good idea. You know, until you count up the other set top boxes you've got lying around. As Dave Zatz points out, it would probably make a lot more sense for Blockbuster to develop technology that would allow the company to send video to existing devices like a TiVo, video game console, or even a network enabled DVD player.

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Apple TV Take 2 available now

by Brad Linder, posted Feb 12th 2008 4:26PM
Apple TV take 2
Apple has finally gotten around to issuing its promised software update for the Apple TV set top box. The biggest change is that users will now be able to download videos from the iTunes store using their Apple TV, no computer necessary. And since Apple also recently launched video rentals, that means you buy or rent movies or TV shows without leaving your house, or your couch.

Users can also view online photos from .Mac and Flickr pages. You can check out your own images or pictures shared by your friends and contacts. You can also listen to music while you play a photo slideshow.

[via TUAW]

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Vudu lowers price, still costs more than Apple TV

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 24th 2008 9:54AM
Vudu has slashed the cost of its overpriced digital video unit from $399 to a still kind of pricey $295. While the new price is a bit more reasonable, it still feels like a lot to ask for a set top box that only plays videos you have to pay for separately.

The price cut is likely a response to Apple's announcement that the Apple TV is now available for $229. Apple TV owners can also download videos directly to their boxes now, with no computer required. That makes the Apple TV kind of like a much cheaper Vudu with far more features. You can also use it to watch web video or access content stored on your PC.

When it comes to HD video, Vudu has the edge, with 1080i/1080p24 support while the Apple TV can only handle 720p videos.

If you're one of the handful of folks who have already shelled out $400 for a Vudu, you can get a $100 coupon towards video downloads if you've purchased your box within the last 30 days by calling Vudu customer support.

[via CNet]

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BBC could bring iPlayer content to the Apple TV

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 17th 2008 5:53PM
If there's one thing I love more than the ability to watch TV shows online it's the ability to watch them on my TV. So while it's great that the BBC's iPlayer service lets UK viewers catch up on shows they've missed over the week using their computers, I'm pretty excited to hear that the broadcasting service is looking at ways to get the software onto set top boxes.

BBC Future Media and Technology Director Ashley Highfield writes on his blog that the BBC is encouraged by this week's announcement that Apple TV users will be able to download content directly to their set top boxes, no computer required. It's probably safe to say the BBC will be in touch with Apple soon.

But Highfield says the BBC is also looking into other ways to get content onto the TV, such as the Xbox 360 or the Neuros OSD. So far, the iPlayer service has only been available to UK viewers. But as the BBC expands the service, I'm holding out hope that they'll offer up a subscription or pay-per-download version for viewers in the rest of the world.

[via last100]

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Apple TV take 2: Download iTunes videos without a computer

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 15th 2008 2:02PM
Apple TV take 2
If you were a bit underwhelmed by Apple's first set top box, the Apple TV, you weren't alone. At Macworld today, Steve Jobs pretty much admitted that the Apple TV was a failure. Part of the reason for that is that people didn't want a two-step solution that required them to download videos from the iTunes store on their computer and then stream them over a home network to the Apple TV for watching.

So Apple TV take 2 lets users download movies from iTunes directly. No computer required. Oh yeah, and you can also rent movies now, with prices ranging from $2.99 to $4.99. Older movies will be at the lower end of the scale, with new releases and HD rentals filling out the higher end.

There's also support for more watching more YouTube videos, Flickr images, and .mac support. Apple has also dropped the price of the Apple TV from $299 to $229. And current users can get all of the new features through a free software upgrade.

There's still not PVR functionality, which some people were hoping for. But all things considered, the new Apple TV at $229 is a lot more attractive than the old version with fewer features for $299.

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Archos TV gets official: PVR + online video device

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 4th 2008 1:31PM
Archos TVArchos is preparing to show off the Archos TV at CES. The company first announced its answer to both the Apple TV and TiVo last summer. It doesn't look like the specs have changed since June, but it's nice to get confirmation that Archos has actually built working models which it can show off. Hopefully that means they'll be shipping soon.

In case you've forgotten, the Archos TV is an internet connected device that lets you watch streaming video from the web or from other computers on your home network. It also packs full web browser, and a hard drive for downloading video from CinemaNow or for storing recorded television programs.

The Archos TV will come in two varieties, with an 80GB version selling for $249 and a 250GB model selling for $349. The set top box also comes with a funny looking QWERTY remote control for searching for videos or web surfing.

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Jaman releases movie rental hack for Apple TV

by Brad Linder, posted Sep 28th 2007 1:00PM
Jaman Apple TVThe Apple TV is a $300 box designed to let you watch iTunes content on your TV set without plugging your computer directly into your TV. It streams content from your Mac and the internet over your home network.

While Apple has yet to authorize third party development on the Apple TV, hackers have been adding applications to the box pretty much since the day it was released.

Hackers have added RSS feeds, support for non-iTunes videos, and the ability to upgrade your hard drive. Now Jaman has released the first commercial plugin for renting movies from the Jaman service. But since Apple doesn't support any 3rd party Apple TV applications, the only way to install the Jaman player is by hacking your TV. In other words, don't expect any support from Apple if you wind up messing up your system. In fact, even Jaman says they won't offer support for their Apple TV software.

If that last paragraph didn't scare you off, you can find a detailed review and installation guide at Apple TV Hacks.

[via last100]

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